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Theriogenology. 2010 Apr 1;73(6):740-7. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2009.10.002. Epub 2009 Nov 12.

Xenotransplantation in immunodeficient mice to study ovarian follicular development in domestic animals.

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  • 1Laboratory of Veterinary Physiology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium.


Nowadays, in vitro study of follicular dynamics of primordial and primary follicular stages is limited because in vitro culture systems for these follicles are lacking, both in domestic animal species and in human. Therefore, additional insights might be generated by grafting ovarian tissue into immunodeficient mice to study activation and maturation of early follicular stages. A considerable amount of data has already been gathered in laboratory animals and through clinical application of human assisted reproduction technologies where live births were reported recently after the use of (cryopreserved) ovarian grafts. However, given that human preantral follicles are difficult to obtain and that there are many similarities between the bovine and human species with regard to ovarian physiology, the bovine model offers exciting additional prospects and is therefore discussed in more detail. This review will focus on recent developments related to preantral follicle and (repeated) ovarian tissue retrieval and xenotransplantation of (bovine) ovarian tissue strips to immunodeficient mice as a model to study preantral follicular dynamics. Different grafting strategies will be discussed as well as the consequences of this procedure on the viability and dynamic behavior of the grafted tissue and follicles.

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